Amtrak, Roomette, St. Paul to Chicago October 2020

Details

  • Trip Duration: 8 hours
  • Seat: 12 - Superliner Roomette
  • Number of seats on train: 42
  • Type of train: Amtrak Superliner
  • Cost: $208, $108 for ticket, $100 for roomette addition
Rob doesn't always fly; this time I took the train, and what a train. West of Chicago, Amtrak runs the Superliner, a double decker, comfortable, smooth train designed specifically for their very long haul routes. I got a roomette, which is the lowest priced private room (it converts to beds too) and comes with meal service. Plus, it gives you priority boarding and if you see the line that is waiting, that's a bonus.

Booking a larger room gives you access to the Amtrak Lounge at your departure station. In St. Paul, it's a very small affair. In Chicago it's insane, but you need to be departing on a train from there to use it. Still, it was away from most people and had coffee and water.
If you blink you'll miss it in St. Paul's Union Depot


The Seat

A small 2 seat room with bed conversions, a sleeper bunk up top and converting the seats on the lower part. A table and power outlets for computer work (no internet wifi) that stows away. There is very little room for your bags so you should plan on storing them in the cage in the common area outside. Also it's on the lower level, which means less of a view but also less train sway.
Private door, and curtains this is exactly 1/2 the room.  I am sure an enterprising couple could find more things to do in this space than sit

The Train

The amount of room is great on this train. There are the regular seat cars, the dining car and the VistaDome car, which is such a great view. It must be astounding taking this train through the Rockies with access to that car.
Food and drinks.  Nice layout, comfortable the cheap seats, but bigger than an airplane’s and they tilt way back This, is just wow factor.  Worth the sights and for slowing down your pace a tad
A larger room, that was not mine.  Probably what you're more used to seeing in movies
The views were quite excellent down the Mississippi valley, less so as you got into Wisconsin. The train made a few stops on the way, so still fulfilling its mandate to provide rail service to the less trafficked areas.
Yep, pretty nice views Little towns in the middle of who knows where

Dining

Fairly ok food, during covid they only offered prepared meals sadly, but the first drink was included!
While not as fancy as I hoped, it was tasty Drinks!  The vodka was good actually

Arrival

We prepared to leave like the moment the train pulled into Chicago, but not before. You're immediately in the heart of the city which I love.


Summary

A roomette is really nice, probably overkill for an 8 hour ride, but it was nice nonetheless. Planting yourself with a drink in the dome car, whiling away the time, seems like a worthwhile endeavor. It's a very smooth ride and like a floating town as you head across the countryside.

Tip: I think getting in the dome car with a regular seat is probably just as good for $100 less than a roomette, but on a longer trip, I know I will want that bed.



Related blog posts

Chicago 2020 - Posted: 2022-03-11